What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is swelling and pain occurring at one or more of your joints. Arthritis usually occurs as people age, this illness makes it harder for people to walk and climb stairs. The pain can usually range from mild to severe, where people have to seek medical assistance. The most common causes of arthritis are obesity and being overweight.

How Weight Loss Surgery Can Help

According to studies, even modest weight loss can provide patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis with significant pain relief. Studies showed that for patients with additional problems relating to osteoarthritis and other health ailments that produce discomfort and pain, bariatric surgery could be the key to relief.

Pain Reduction

A study conducted in 2011, which was presented to the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine, showed the results of 24 patients that had radiographic or clinical evidence of knee pain and who had undergone bariatric surgery. The age of the patients ranged from 30 years to 67 years. The individuals were evaluated for pain and stiffness at six months post-surgery and 12 months post-surgery. These individuals were found to have lost 57 pounds on average, had significant improvement in knee stiffness and pain, physical function, daily living, and quality of life at the six-month mark. These results came without medications.

Another study consisted of a review of patient charts after bariatric surgery. Out of these patients, 192 underwent laparoscopic gastric banding, 53 participated in gastric bypass surgery, and 19 underwent vertical sleeve gastrectomy. The patients had shown a weight loss of 28.4 percent of excess body weight at the follow up apt of 17.2 months. These individuals had also indicated a loss of arthritis pain since the surgery. Of the patients, 71 percent underwent gastric bypass, 63 percent went through sleeve gastrectomy and 51 percent had lap band surgery, and all reported knee osteoarthritis pain relief.

More Studies

The evidence makes it clear that while weight loss surgery helps patients lose weight, improves overall health, decreases chances of heart-related catastrophe, it can also improve pain significantly due to osteoarthritis. The reduction in weight can relieve a tremendous amount of pressure being the point on the joints of the patients. This can provide the patient with an improved quality of life, mobility, and reduced level of pain. The results seem to be long-lasting and immediate, along with the reduction in weight. The more weight the patient loses, the more relief the patient appears about their osteoarthritis pain.

In addition to changing the benefits that individuals receive when undergoing weight loss surgery, there is also a difference in the way that orthopedic surgeons approach their patients. If they are working with obese individuals suffering from osteoarthritis pain, it doesn’t make sense to do a joint replacement while they are still overweight. The weight loss will provide additional feedback to the surgeon and can often eliminate the need for joint replacement altogether. Addressing the weight loss before discussing the option of surgery is essential to success in relieving the pain that the patient feels.

Who Should Get Weight Loss Surgery

A good candidate should be a person with a body mass index (BMI) of 30, dedication to turning his/her life around, and committed to making healthy life changes such as dieting and exercising.

After weight loss surgery, only some weight will disappear from the body. The patient will still have to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Only by combining the surgery, a healthy diet, and exercising will the patient see successful results.

A week after the surgery, patients will go through a rough trial, as they would have to readjust the pace that they eat and the food they eat. They would have to consume many small meals a day instead of three normal meals. It will be a tough challenge for sure, that is why people have to really think carefully before getting weight loss surgery.

Related Articles